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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

26 Jun 2023 14:00–15:00

From Family to Family Business: How Relations and Identity Co-Evolve in Development of FB


Speakers Professor Eliana Crosina, Babson College

Date 26 Jun 2023 14:00 - 15:00

Location Room BZ A5.18, Universitätsplatz 1 - Piazza Università, 1, 39100 Bozen-Bolzano

More information Alberto Frigo


Family firms –enterprises established and run by the members of the same family – drive oureconomy. Given their influence, research has attended closely to how familyfirms work, focusing on an array of issues such as governance, legacy, as wellas to family dynamics more broadly. Yet, we still lack knowledge about theearly-stage development of family businesses, and specifically of how familymembers become a business in the first place. Understanding these dynamics iscritical because as broader research in entrepreneurship suggests, anorganization’s initial setup, including the composition of, and theformalization of tasks positions within founding team, holds consequentialdownstream effects for both the organization and its members. Through anongoing longitudinal, 4.5-year qualitative study of a newly formed familybusiness, “MediaCo,” a digital media company focused on storytelling throughshort videos and documentaries, I seek to explain the process by which a familyfirm develops from a new venture team comprised of family members to anorganization coalescing in scope and structure. My analyses to date suggests thatthe co-evolution of family members (here of co-founders’) relationships andtheir interpersonal identities drives this process. Undergirding suchco-evolution was the ongoing (re)definition of an organizational identity,while anchoring the venture over time were co-founders’ commitment to oneanother, and their increasing confidence in the viability of their business. Inmy presentation, I plan to build on the arguments I sketched here, bringing tobear data from my longitudinal interviews, observations, as well as archivalmaterials.

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